Hearing a ringing in the ear is common, affecting nearly 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. population. Tinnitus has long been associated with a number of other medical conditions, including Meniere’s disease, hearing loss and even TMJ disorders. According to a recent study, researchers may soon be adding major depressive disorder to the list.
What Is Major Depressive Disorder?
This mood disorder causes prolonged and persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects how those with the condition feel, think and behave. Many will have trouble performing daily activities often feel like life is not worth living.
The severity of this condition is often brushed aside and not taken seriously. But depression is not simply feeling sad; it is a medical condition caused by a number of factors including physical change in the brain, brain chemistry, hormones and inherited traits.
Fortunately, most people with this condition are able to be treated with medication and psychotherapy, although finding the right combination can be a lengthy process filled with a lot of trial and error.
Association Between MDD and Tinnitus
A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders this past week found an association between these two disorders in adults located in Taiwan. The researchers used data from the National Health Insurance Database to look at 18,365 patients with tinnitus, and the same number without diagnosed tinnitus as controls.
Researchers found that 2.16 percent of patients with tinnitus were also diagnosed with major depressive disorder while only 1.24 percent of the controls had a diagnosed. There was also a significant association between the subjects with tinnitus and MDD to diabetes and hyperlipidemia, otherwise known as high cholesterol.
While there are significant limitations to the results of this study, they are useful first steps. The investigators noted that, “Clinicians should be alert about the tinnitus condition among patients with MDD.” They also recommended, “If a patient reports tinnitus symptoms, the attending physician should also examine the emotional state of the patient and provide appropriate interventions.”
Think you may have tinnitus? Now is the time to seek treatment. Contact the experts at Lifestyle Hearing Solutions today to get started.